Friday, September 22, 2023


2nd Man made a batch of chocolate chip cookies.

There were a couple dozen.  I immediately knew what we should do with at least a few of them:

Put some softened ice cream on them and...


We made two chocolate and two vanilla, smooshed them together and froze them for use over the weekend.  They were delicious!

After all, when life hands you chocolate chip cookies, make ice cream sandwiches, right!?


Wednesday, September 20, 2023


We're old school.  We both still like paper.  Sure we have tablets and smartphones and laptops but in the end, just like reading an actual, physical book, we like to have paper.

Over the last couple of years, I've been collecting information and printing it out. Recently, I found a binder, got some plastic sleeves and put it all together.

One part for the fruit trees and bushes and one part for the veggie garden area.

Here is the fruit side/half.  I made a quick cover sheet for that side of the binder.

When you open it, for the first page, I created a graphical representation of the actual layout of our orchard area with each tree/bush labeled for the bed that it is in.  I even have the correct shape to make sure we remember what is what.

Then, in alphabetical order, are pages of info on each fruit that we are growing.  They are sourced to be articles put out by local arborists and experts (including Texas A&M University) so that it is unique to our growing climate.  We have found info on every single thing we are growing.  Apples, bananas, blueberries, cherries, grapes, pears, plums, etc.

The info is how to plant and when to fertilize, how to care for them in different types of weather, harvesting, pruning, etc, all for each plant we have in the ground.

Then, if you hold it in front of you and just flip it over, top to bottom, the back half (which is upside down from the front half, ha) is the other part.

The Vegetable Garden Guide.

Opening it, the first page has a graphical layout of all the raised beds in the fenced in garden area and what we could plant each year.  This one is for Spring/Summer garden planning...

...and on the other side of that page is the one for Fall/Winter garden planning.

There are blank multiples so we can change things from year to year and rotate crops.

While we don't have pages for each planted or planned item yet (since we don't have anything growing this year) I have found great info, from our county extension office, local urban harvest group and even some friends of the farm who live near our growing zone...they are lists of all the vegetable varieties that grow best here, when to plant them and when to harvest them, for both Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter.

And speaking of planning, I also put yearly planners in each section, month by month, to remind me what I need to do and when.

It will allow us to plan each season and keep track of what we have done, what has worked and what maybe didn't work one season.

Monday, September 18, 2023


We finally got some much needed rain.  About 3/4" over Thursday and Friday.

When I went out Saturday...  

...there was some green starting to appear in the yard.

Even in the area where the cracks in the ground are, there was green grass springing up.  

I watered just in case, had to water the stuff on the porch for sure.  Moved a few things from the house to the barn/shop, drove the truck, and then called it a day.

I was watching the radar and could see more rain coming.  When I finally left about 1:30, this was the sky.  We were hopeful for more rain and sure enough...

This is the radar about an hour later when I got back into Houston...the red pin is the farm.

And this is 4:30, about two hours later, it was still raining but getting lighter.  It ended at about 5pm and was nice the rest of the weekend.  We ended up with about 1 1/2" over the course of a few days.  None the rest of this week but cooler temperatures finally.

Sunday, September 17, 2023


We have had rain!  Intermittent, but definitely welcome.  It is Sunday so that means it's time for some good food and some Hobart!

This was last weekend's big meal.  2nd Man once again knocked it out of the park.  Pork with mole verde, refried beans, rice with corn and jalapeños and this time homemade flour tortillas.

Sometimes friends will ask us why we don't go out to eat more, hello?  Why?  This is just as good and we get to wear our pajamas, LOL!

He's awake!!

Aaaaaand...he's out!

Ha!  We thought you all might like these pictures.  He was on his blanket on the table, a weekend tradition, and I thought "oh, he's awake and looking at the camera" so I took a picture.  I went to the other room to do something, came back a few minutes later and he was asleep.  We don't dare disturb his sleep of course, because...


Friday, September 15, 2023


Regular readers know that I have a favorite place to look for bargains...our downstairs trash area!  Our building has trash chutes on every floor and they feed into a separate room, but for boxes and other things that people can't put in the chute, there is an area (indoor) near the loading dock where people can put the things they don't want.  I've found quite a few cool items over the last few years.

I went downstairs on my usual reconnaissance mission and saw this.  A small little oil lamp sitting all by itself.  Nothing wrong with it, no cracks and no chips.  I looked at it and the bottom said "Made in Austria" so I figured it might be a nice little find.  

Brought it upstairs and washed and cleaned it all with soap and hot water.  Wow!

It cleaned up nicely and is actually very pretty.  We couldn't tell until we cleaned it, but there is even a floral motif etched into the glass.  It's so pretty.  We just need to get a new (longer) wick.

The knob says "Lamplight Farms" and the bottom of the glass says "Made in Austria".  I found a couple of these for sale, they both said vintage, though not sure what year.  Average price was about $20-$30.

It's not valuable but we figured for a throwaway item, it will work great.  It never hurts to have a small, alternative means of lighting in an emergency or even a little old fashioned ambiance.

Thursday, September 14, 2023



This is the radar image of the farm this morning.  Nice heavy rains moving over.  It's supposed to be like this on and off the next few days.  

We'll take it!

Waiting for 2nd Family to give us a rainfall total update.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023


We recently picked up a large bag of "dark sweet cherries" and wanted to put them up for future use.

The bag said it was 2 1/2 pounds, I measured them out and it was 8 cups exactly.  I froze them so they'd be solid and hard and then I divided them in half and put 4 cups each in two bags...

...and sealed them up.

Because they were frozen solid first, they vacuumed nicely.  I love the feeling of the bag when all the air is out, something satisfying about that, ha.  I labeled them and popped them in the freezer.

Our plan at the farm is to have a large separate freezer from the one in the kitchen with the fridge and I told 2nd Man, I'll be dangerous with a vacuum sealer and a big empty freezer, ha.  But we do enjoying cooking "out of our freezer", it is nice to have stuff available.

Monday, September 11, 2023


The grass is officially dead/dormant.

Just a shade of brown, triscuit-like, crunchy stuff where green used to be.  Now it will come back, it always does, with some regular rain.  One downpour won't do it but several days of nice rainfall will.

I went out there Saturday, only to water the fruit trees to keep them alive.  I got there about 10am, stayed until just about noon.  As I l left, I checked the app...

101 and felt like 110.  Actually felt like 150, ha.  I was soaked from sweating but I always have a change of clothes ready before heading back.

I checked the app and the last time I mowed was at the end of June.  So it's been 2 1/2 months.  I took it out a few weeks ago for a spin but otherwise, so much for buying a new mower this year, we could have waited, ha.  But oh well, at least we haven't put many hours on it yet.  It'll be good as new for next season.

There IS a chance of rain a few days this week, but it's always like 40%...which to us means it's a 60% chance it won't rain.  We shall see!

Of course, today is a somber anniversary.  The terrible events of 9/11 are separated by 22 years now but one only needs to close their eyes to be immediately taken back to that day...

Sunday, September 10, 2023


IT'S HOT.  Nuff said.

This is last weekend's big meal.

2nd Man made everything from scratch.  Homemade corn tortillas, Mexican rice, charro beans, and the star of the show, pork carnitas.  Oh, even the pico de Gallo was homemade.  SO. Good.

It has been our tradition the last few years to have this meal on Memorial Day weekend and again on Labor Day weekend.  Sort of a start and end to Summer.

This weekend, Hobart has moved from the table and quilt to his afghan on one of his cushions in his favorite sunspot overlooking the balcony.  Notice we said HIS afghan and HIS cushions and HIS favorite spot.
That's because...


Thursday, September 7, 2023


 A few years ago, 2nd Man was looking around in the pantry and fridge for dinner.


Some fresh lemons.



That all sounds like a meal...

He zests one lemon, minces up some parsley, squeezes lemon juice from half and cubes up some butter.  It's really all to taste. 

Boil the pasta (any shape) and drain it (saving 1/4 cup of the pasta water).

While it is still hot, just toss in the butter, lemon juice and zest and a bit of the pasta water the thickness you desire and stir until melted.  Finally, toss in the fresh minced parsley and stir again.

We like this on a night when we want something that's not heavy, like a cream sauce or rich tomato sauce.  It's almost refreshing in a way.  Sometimes, he'll put in some minced garlic sautéed with some chicken or, our favorite addition, shrimp.

We're sure there is some Italian dish for this same thing with a fancy name but we call it lemon butter pasta and we love it.  It's now one of of my favorite dishes.